Friday 28 March 2014

Is it time for new running shoes??

Over the past few months I’ve had a couple emails from friends asking for advice on when to buy new running shoes…so I thought I’d share my very basic knowledge of when’s a good time to throw out the old, and get in with the new!!

If you had to ask 10 running enthusiasts this same question, it’s likely you’ll get 10 different answers so instead of giving you my opinion I thought I’d share 5 tips that will help you decide for yourself whether it’s time for some new shoes:

1.   Listen to your body
Are you getting any unusual aches and pains? An easy indication that you may need new shoes is when you are feeling abnormal muscle fatigue, shin splits, and are having joint {often knee} problems, all caused by wear-and-tear on the mid-sole (inner cushioning part) of your running shoe.

2.   When is your next race?
A BIG no-go for me is buying new shoes too close to race day. I have a personal rule that I should always get in at least 100km’s in a shoe before racing in them, my husband’s a bit more lenient and is happy with 30-odd km’s. All in all, new shoes often cause blistering so be careful with buying new shoes too close to race day.

3.   How many km’s have you run in these shoes?
Again, a personal mention, I usually work on 1000km per pair of running shoes but of course this may not work for everyone. I try to only use my running shoes for running and gym, and other shoes for hiking, tennis, etc. If you use your running shoes as cross trainers, then although you may only cover that mileage {1000km’s} in 4 years, the wear and tear from hiking, walking, etc may be way worse than the effects running may have had on them.

4.   How are your shoes looking?
Keep a close eye on your shoes – how they look, and feel. When the out-sole of a shoe starts to break down and become smooth, it'll start to resemble a worn-out tire on a car. If your car tires are getting old, and look the part, you replace them right away, correct? Same goes with your running shoes. Shoes protect your feet but also have an effect on your running style. If you run for too long in a shoe that's old and falling part, it may alter your running style and cause you to compensate thus causing injury.

5.   Trust your gut 
My final piece of advice is simple and is to trust the voice within. I usually know when I need a new pair of shoes, I can just sort-of feel it J And so paired with numbers 1 – 4, trust yourself to make the right decision!!

Happy running J

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